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Making Type

Making Type image
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T ii a walk through a type-foundry yesterday morolas by ;i Times reporter the following words from Mtley's "Rise of the Dutcb Rcpubllc" were quoted by the founder, who nccompanied reporter through his establishment, lo referring to the ui i of printing i ¦'At the vcry epocb when the greatneaa of Burgundy was most swifily rlpenlng, aoother weapon was wcretly torging, nore poteul in the jtreat sti iiirijlu for treedom ih.'in any whlch the wHor hand of man has ever devised or wielded." "li niay nol generally known," itld the type-founder, "that the flrsl quarto bible prlnted In América wa the work of Christopher Sauer, "i, Germantown, who ilicicin 1735 estubllshed u type fotindry, bul i ia ti tut liow type is imaúv tbat yoo come." ''l.ii iis bi i;in uiiii tlic metal room." Aboul the place where the amnlgam of whlch type i made were piled buodredt cf bais ! the metal. At the tortber end ot the room s master wurkomn tbrew Into the great kettle certalD proportions of oopper, antimony, leud, and tin. This is the amatgum, tui exact proportlons of whlcb produce ti e nseful metal thal must be liurd without being brittle, ductlle bat tuugh, flowiDg tietlv and hnrdening rapIdly. a b:ir was broken in tui, and the beautiful, spiirkling grain of the metal Bhown. About the apartmenl werecuski of (flltterlng nntlmony, bars of yellow copper, ilnll bricks of lead, and blucks of tin. A.8 the compof ition melted the man at the kc itlt etirred the molten ma-.-, and when the proper degree of heat was ed I idled n out n the moldn thal lay on the bliek Boor at hlifeet. Above the I-room the luis were fltted lor the printer 's use. Before a machioe known iis a punch-cutter aal a bihh lurroiwded by .1 uewlldcring array ol delicate lools and gu "Ther are vcry few men of note for p.ri of woik In the United States," whispered the reporter's oontpanion. ''it requirea u dellcacy o( touch and peroeption thal is nol easlly acqulred." Ou the cutí ol a plece "i steel ths workman :it ilic punch-catter was formlng i letter. Beworked rapidly yel wlth cauUon, frequently testing lii gauges untll the letter was complete. Theo other letters of the irmed ïihi-hin the muis. One by piie iB'èdtes were placed in a stamping machine, an obloug pieos of copper put umicr them, and thcin the ;reat lever was brooght down. The inipression was left deep in the copper. Tli is oblong bit of copper is termed Om matrix. Fioin the punch-eutter the matrice were curried to an adjolning room, whaie the grenteat care is exerdsed In thelr fittinr ii tor the mold. Tlie siightest varfatlosor irregulatity wa Bald to be fetal to the appearance of the type cnst in tliem, Pertiapa the most interesting thlnjrt about tlie foundry are the tiny castlirgin.ichiins ihat pour nut in endlesa stream of type .is long as tbey woik. These snug llttle Mlowa" Mid the type-toonder, pattlng wlth liis hand the odd litile niiissof machinery bffiirewhich he stoot!, "can throw out more tjrpe in one day llian a man, WOlklng ten hunrs a (liiy, can count in a month." The casting-nmcliine is the inveiition of David Brute, Jr., of New York. Tlit metal is kept Huid hy a llttle furnnoe iindeincath the maciiine and is projectid into tlie mold by a pump. The mold ia movable, and at every reyolution of the ciauk is brouyht to the .-poní, lu re it receives a frwh charge oí the metal. A spuug in front of the mold liol( clo.-e to it i copper m.itnx, and the Itamp of the letter on the nialiix is direcllv opposite the aperture of the mold w hlcti mei t ilic spout of the pump. In boxes the new-made type i carried to the (lresing-room, where round laifrc Btonea the boys are kept busy rnbbing uwiiy the rouj;ii edges on the type. The ladl wear leather glove titifiers lor protection. As the type is rnbbed smooth each letter is set up iu long lines. From the nlmble-fingered boys the lines of type pass into the hands of , who hus beside hlm a powerful mngnlfying glass. The die-scr dettly slips fi line ot lype Into n long stick Bimflar iu shape to that used by printers, face downward, screws tliem up tiht, and Wlth two ia d muvements of planing-tool cuti the grovtin the bottoin of the type. This operutiiin known MglTlDg the type lcfiv "The nnist liave somettilng tci stand on," said the good-natured iookingdresser. Afier that, wltli the magnifylng glass, the face of the line is eriiicully inspected and Imperfect ones thrown aaide to be returoed to the meltlng-pot. "This operatlon practlcally ende the making of type,"' said tlie founder. "Afterward the different letters are put up in what we cali 'pages and are ready to he sent out." The matrices and mold, ot which the foundry hag u eollection nunibering niany tliousandt, are kopt, when not in use, in a flreproof vault. They are very valuable, representlng, as they do, the oollectlon of maoyyeanof labor. A complete font ot type may he comprlsed undcr nine heads, as followg. Oapilals A, siiiall capitils it, lower case c, figures, points, spaees, em and en quadrates, two and thrce eni quadrates, and accents. Printers divide a font of letters into two classes - upper case and lower case sorts. The upper-case are capitals, smill capital letters, and references; the lou ercase consists of small letters, doublé letters, figures, points, and iniiulrates. -


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News